I just finished reading the latest book by my favourite author Khaled Hosseni “And the mountains echoed” and I am still in awe after completing it. Khaled this time has attempted to capture a different side of Afghanistan, it does not describe the story of a hurt and bruised country but that of the people who were uprooted leaving behind their belongings and loved ones.
The book has the usual Hosseni style of writing, touching, filled with agony and pain. The development of the plot and the characters is poetic, the classic Hosseni style. There are moments in the book when you cant help weeping, one must be really cold hearted if one reads through the book without a tear down the cheek. It has the same sad fairy tale touch throughout the story, one which Hosseni is master in. The characters are very humane and so are the hardships they face.
However this time Hosseni has tried to weave many portraits together, he has indulged in developing many characters and subplots which somehow have not been very impressive. There are many areas in the storyline wherein you feel disconnected to the whole plot, though the different stories tend to meet at some point or other but they don’t complete each other in a very impressive way. The subplot of Markos and Thalia grabs my attention but after some pages it becomes a futile exercise for me to realise their existence and importance to the main story line. I am keen to know the happenings around Saboor’s family but I end up reading a long chapter on Thalia. Also the Bashiri brothers make an awkward entry and exit through the book, I feel their characters don’t get the closure that is needed, somehow their stories feel incomplete. There is a long haul between the different subplots and their development spanning from different eras only add to the existing confusion. Somehow I was more intrigued to know how Abdullah felt after Pari left. Somehow I could not feel riveted by the emotions, I was moved yes, but not like the earlier books.
Overall its not a fantastic, but definitely a delightful read however it is unable to arouse the same riveting emotions that Kite runner and thousand splendid suns had. Somehow the strings don’t tie up together in the end, you feel emotionally detached midway many times. But all said and done, I applaud Hosseni for trying something new and would look forward to read his next book earnestly